April 17, 2018
Marriott and Starwood Unveil Unified Loyalty Program

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Marriott finally gave us the specifics of what its combined Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programs will look like. Members will be able to combine their Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and SPG accounts into one unified account and book any of the combined 6,500+ hotels spanning 125 countries from the new platform. The changes outlined below are set to go into effect on August 1, 2018.


Elite Status


The new program will have five tiers of elite status:


Silver Elite

Members qualify for Silver Elite status after 10 nights. Silver members receive 10% bonus points, late check-out (subject to availability), and a dedicated reservation phone line.


Gold Elite

Members qualify for Gold Elite status after 25 nights. Gold members receive all the Silver perks plus complimentary enhanced internet, 25% bonus points, 2:00 PM late check-out (subject to availability), a welcome gift of points, and upgrades to enhanced rooms (subject to availability).



Platinum Elite

Members qualify for Platinum Elite status after 50 nights. Platinum members receive all the Gold perks plus 50% bonus points, 4:00 PM late check-out (subject to availability), a welcome gift of points, breakfast, or an amenity, upgrades to enhanced rooms or suites (subject to availability), lounge access, guaranteed room type, and a choice benefit (this includes an option for 5 suite night awards).


Platinum Premier Elite

Members qualify for Platinum Premier Elite status after 75 nights. Platinum Premier members receive all the Platinum perks plus 75% bonus points, 48-hour guarantee, United Airlines Premier Silver status, and a choice benefit (this includes an option for 5 additional suite night awards).


Platinum Premier Elite

Platinum Premier Elite members who stay 100+ nights and spend $20,000+ a year receive receive a couple additional perks. First, they receive an individual Marriott Ambassador. This is a point person who personally takes care of your reservations and any problems or special requests you may have. Members also receive Your24. This lets you check-in and check-out over a 24 hour period (subject to availability).



Earning Points


SPG points will be transferred to Marriott Rewards in August 2018 at the existing 1:3 ratio. Going forward, Members will earn 5x Marriott points per $1 spent at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Element and 10x Marriott points per $1 at all other properties. This doesn’t include elite bonuses.


Redeeming Points



Marriott is introducing a new award chart on August 1 featuring Standard pricing. They’ll be rolling out additional Off-Peak and Peak pricing sometime in 2019. Category 8 hotels are also coming on-line in 2019.


Thankfully we’ll still be able to transfer these points to airline partners at the current SPG ratio. Members can transfer Marriott points to a combined 45 airline partners at a 3:1 ratio. You’ll get 15,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer.


Marriott Moments



Marriott is launching a new platform called Moments that lets you book things like dining experiences, massages, tours, etc with cash and earn bonus points in the process. Members can redeem points at Marriott Rewards Moments for experiences like concerts, sports games, dinner with celebrity chefs, etc.


Lifetime Elite Status



Lifetime Silver Elite status will require 250 nights + 5 years of Elite status. Lifetime Gold Elite status will require 400 nights + 7 years of Gold Elite status. Lifetime Platinum Elite status will require 600 nights + 10 years of Platinum Elite status. Marriott will combine your past nights at Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz-Carlton hotels to calculate this. The only catch is that Lifetime Platinum Elite members don’t receive the choice benefit.


Existing Lifetime Starwood Gold members will convert to Lifetime Marriott Gold. Existing Lifetime Starwood Platinum and Lifetime Marriott Gold members will convert to Lifetime Marriott Platinum. Existing Lifetime Marriott Platinum members will receive Lifetime Marriott Platinum Premier status.



Thoughts


Overall I’m happy with these changes. We’ve all gotten used to airlines constantly devaluing loyalty programs so that’s just the norm we’ve come to expect. There are very few negative changes here and several positive changes. I’m thrilled they’re keeping the airline transfer program intact. I’m not too happy with the 75 night requirement for Platinum Premier Elite Status. But when you factor in the 15-night credit you’ll get with a co-branded credit card, it’s really 60 nights. I commend Marriott for created a pretty great loyalty program overall.


Images Courtesy of Marriott

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